Litigation Lawyers in Harlingen
If you are a resident of Harlingen, Texas and believe that somebody has committed a legal wrong against you, and have decided that the effort and expense involved in seeking compensation is worth it, you may consider filing a lawsuit.
If you are contemplating filing a lawsuit, you should know that there are many factors that need to be considered before doing so. You should definitely contact a knowledgeable attorney from Harlingen, Texas before you proceed.
Your Harlingen, Texas civil litigation attorney will be able to advise you on whether or not you have a legitimate case, and, if so, your best options on how to proceed. The attorney will also discuss with you the fees for their services, and whether he or she can represent you on a contingency basis.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Harlingen, Texas
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in a Harlingen, Texas court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Harlingen, Texas can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how likely it is to succeed.
Drafting The Complaint: Once you decide that pursuing a lawsuit in Harlingen, Texas civil court is worth your time and effort, you need to file a complaint. The complaint can set the tone, and frame the issues, for the rest of the litigation process, which can drag on for months, or even years (and decades, in some cases). This is because the complaint lays out all the allegations against the defendant. It also typically asks the court for specific relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
Serving The Defendant: Once you, or your lawyer, have drafted a complaint, the defendant must be served with it, so they have notice that they're being sued, and are given time to prepare a defense. Harlingen, Texas has particular rules governing how a complaint must be served, for the service to be valid. Personal service (having someone give the documents directly to the defendant) is preferred. However, some courts will also accept service by mail in limited circumstances, or service upon an adult member of the defendant's household.
Await Defendant's Response: When you have served the defendant with the complaint in Harlingen, Texas, the defendant has time to respond. The most prevalent response is known as an "answer," in which they specifically address the factual allegations you've made against them, typically by denying most of the allegations. They might also move to dismiss the case if they can argue that the complaint is legally flawed. A judge then has to rule on this motion. If the defendant doesn't respond within a given period of time, they are said to have "defaulted." This allows the court to enter a default judgment, in which the plaintiff essentially automatically wins the lawsuit. Once this happens, the defendant, if they're ever located, can be served with the judgment, and will have very little power to challenge the merits of your case.
How Can A Harlingen, Texas Tort Lawyer Help?
This simple outline is meant to give you a general idea of what goes into filing a lawsuit in Harlingen, Texas, but it is by no means a comprehensive guide.
You should seek the advice of a knowledgeable litigation attorney if you are planning on filing a lawsuit against somebody who you think has wronged you in Harlingen, Texas.